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From Innovation to Ethics, Standards Empower AI Progress in 2018


Artificial Intelligence is boosting tech advances, from self-driving cars to smart manufacturing

Artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities are still expanding, as AI plays a role in reinventing businesses, streamlining production, or even transforming skillsets of the next generation of workers to give them a competitive edge. Yet as more organizations adopt AI technologies and recruit the specialists armed with the right expertise, security and standardization are critical to drive more innovation across industries.

Growth of AI Applications in the Industry and Emerging Challenges

A recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute reveals the numerous ways that AI has started to deliver the real-life benefits to early adopting companies. Retailers use AI-powered robots to run warehouses, while utilities use AI to forecast electricity on demand. In the medical field, AI's predictive capabilities are disrupting the paradigm of patient diagnosis and treatment.

What's more, the McKinsey's paper Artificial intelligence: The next digital frontier?, which included a survey of more than 3,000 AI-aware companies around the world, found that early AI adopters tend to be closer to the digital frontier than other companies behind the trend.

AI now has a growing footprint in a number of new applications that include virtual reality applications, interactive speech interfaces, visual recognition, data analysis/manipulation, spatial programming. Nonetheless, even as businesses implement AI and customers make use of it, its growth and adoption does not come without challenges. Challenges cited have include best practices for deployment, interoperability, scalability and trustworthiness amongst others. This has created a need for standardization in this area.

Emerging AI Standards Ecosystem

Standardization work is in now underway to support AI and its applications. The newly formed international standardization committee on artificial intelligence (AI) - International Organization for Standardization / International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) Joint Technical Committee (JTC) 1, Information Technology, Subcommittee (SC) 42 is intended to serve as the focus for ISO/IEC JTC 1's standardization program on AI as well as provide underlying support to other committees.

"There are a growing number of applications and industry verticals taking advantage of Artificial Intelligence," said Wael William Diab, chair of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 42 and senior director at Huawei. "ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 42 will provide guidance to other JTC 1, IEC, and ISO committees that are developing AI applications. By looking at various aspects of AI that range from foundational to architecture to computational methods to use cases and trustworthiness, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 42 is a first-of-its-kind standardization committee looking at the full AI IT ecosystem."

The committee will work under the direction of ISO/IEC JTC 1 [read more about ISO/IEC JTC 1's role in AI], which has addressed the rapidly changing standardization requirements of the global information and communications technology (ICT) industry, and has bolstered the developmental process and the wide deployment of relevant standards. The United States has taken a strong leadership, through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), in ISO/IEC JTC 1 and a number of its committees.

"AI is an area of information technology that will have an impact on many sectors of the global economy," said Phil Wennblom, Chair of ISO/IEC JTC 1 and a senior director at Intel. "SC 42 complements the extensive portfolio of information technologies that JTC 1 standardizes."

JTC 1/SC 42 is part of a broader emerging landscape of standardization related to AI. Recently, IEEE released version 2 of their Ethically Aligned Design document as part of a global initiative (read more about The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems).

Other AI standards support the management of the development of AI software, and INCITIS/ISO/IEC 2382-28, Information Processing Systems Vocabulary ? Part 28: Artificial Intelligence Basic Concepts and Expert Systems (formerly ANSI/ISO/IEC 2382-28-1995), adopted by INCITS (InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards) as an American National Standard (ANS).

It is an exciting time to participate in these emerging standards on AI that come on the heels of a report that AI could double annual economic growth rates in 2035.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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